Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Will Curt Schilling Start Welcome Trend In Outing The Worst Trolls?

 Curt Schilling and his daughter Gabby discuss
the cyberbulling she experienced, and the
response to it by Curt Schilling on "Good Morning America"  
Congratulations to Curt Schilling, former Red Sox baseball great and current ESPN analyst, who has been getting tremendous Internet buzz the past couple of days for outing some terrible online trolls who attacked his daughter.

At least two of the trolls are learning that we indeed have freedom of speech, but there are always consequences to exercising that freedom.

If you're an awful person saying awful things, there's a chance awful things might happen to you.

The background:

The other day, Schilling Tweeted an innocuous congratulations to his daughter Gabby, because he'd just learned she'd be pitching for the Salve Regina University Seahawks next year.

Nice, but it shouldn't be a big deal. A proud dad celebrating his successful daughter. What's wrong with that?

Well, as is seemingly always the case, the trolls attacked.  The gleefully Tweeted very disgusting sexual and perverted insults against Gabby Schilling or gawd knows why.  Just wildly horrible jerks, I guess.

Curt Schilling decided to ignore the advice about ignoring the trolls and unloaded on them in his blog with a just perfect and aggressive flair. Don't mess with a dad whose daughter ahs been insulted.

The best part of Curt Schilling's blog post, and the part that's gotten the most attention, is how he outed a couple of the trolls who tweeted such awful things about his daughter.   He figured out exactly who they were, and identified them by name in his blog.

First, Schilling said this:

"Now let me emphasize again... I was a jock my whole life. I played sports my whole life. Baseball since I was 5 until I retired at 41. I know clubhouses, I lived in a dorm. I get it. Guys will be guys. Guys will say dumb crap, often. But I can't ever remember, drunk, in a clubhouse, with best friends, with anyone, ever speaking like this to someone."

Schilling outed one of the trolls as Adam Nagel, who went to Brookdale Community College and was a DJ on the college's radio station.

Schillling had this to say about Nagel: "You don't think this isn't going to be a nice compilation that will show up every single time this idiot is googled the rest of his life? What happens when a potential woman he's after googles and reads this?"

Well, aside from having a hard time getting dates, Nagel's time at Brookdale Community College appears to be over.
This person has been identified in media reports
 as Adam Nagel, one of at least two people
Curt Schilling tracked down as cyberbullies
against his daughter, Gabby Schilling.  

On its Facebook page, Brookdale posted this:

"Students and community members have rightfuly expressed concerns regarding recent social media comments made by a Brookdale student. 

The Twitter comments by this student are unacceptable and clearly violated the standards of conduct that are expected of all Brookdale students."

Though they didn't mention him by name, Brookdale officials said on the Facebook post that the student had been suspended, further disciplinary action would be taken, and Brookdale Police are also investigating the matter.

Brookdale also apologized to Gabby Schilling and said her accomplishments should be celebrated and "not clouded by offensive comments."

Most of the comments on Brookdale's Facebook page were supportive of the college, and urged officials to fully follow through on their discipline.

Then there's the other guy Schilling outed. He wrote:

"The other clown? He's VP of the Theta Xi fraternity at Montclair State University. I gotta believe if Theta Xi is cool with a VP of one of their chapters acting like this I'd preer to have no one I know in it. Also, does anyone attending Montclair State University have a student handbook? If so, can you pass it along because I am pretty sure there are about 90 violations in this idiot's Tweets."

This idiot is named Sean MacDonald. He actually recently graduated from Montclair State University so college officials really can't do anything about him. MacDonald recently started a job as a part-time ticket seller for the New York Yankees, but the Yankees quickly fired him when Schilling's blog post came out.

MacDonald's former fraternity isn't amused, either, saying "......inappropriate and offensive tweets that were posted by an alumnus of Theta Xi Fraternity. We agree wholeheartedly that cyber-bullying is unacceptable and should not be tolerated."

Predictably, neither Nagel nor MacDonald have responded to media requests for comments, says 

Schilling says he knows the identity of some of the other trolls, and is considering legal action against them. However, several law experts said it might be difficult to bring criminal charges, because the troll comments didn't represent "true threats" that are likely to be carried out, says the Asbury Park Press of New Jersey.

Judging from the current Internet zeitgeist, most people seem pretty supportive of Schilling. Some are questioning why he's being so harsh on people who were supposedly only joking.

It's true pretty much everyone, including yours truly, has said moronic things in social media. We delete them, we explain them, we apologize for them and move on. But most of the stupid things we say on Facebook or Twitter or whatever reflect a momentary bout of ignorance, sarcasm, anger.

That's really not so bad and we shouldn't face severe criticism or life-long consequences for our little on-line mistakes.

Schilling points out that the trolls he outed went well beyond a bit of ignorance or posting something rashly.

"A mistake is tweeting once and saying, 'damn, I'm an idiot' and taking it down. These guys? They're making conscious choices to cyberbully an amazing and beautiful young woman in the Internet, and none of them know by the way, because they don't like her dad or they somehow think saying words you can teach a 5 year old is tough? Cool? Bad ass? Something I am missing? 

My right hand to God I promise all of you that tweeted that stuff, the friendsd around you saying, 'dude that's hilarious' and 'OMG that's awesome'? Those people? Inside they're actually thinking, 'what an ass#$!Q' and 'holy crap what a piece of trash,' no matter what they say to your face.'"

And the First Amendment?  As I noted, the government really can't prevent you from saying what you want. But they can stop you from making threats. The First Amendment also doesn't prevent employers, educators, friends and everyone else from shunning you because you are so awful.

It's time more Internet trolls learn this lesson, and Schilling is definitely helping with this process.

Schilling retired from playing baseball years ago, but he's still hitting at least metaphorical home runs. He definitely hit a grand slam with this blog post. Congratulations, Curt!

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